As we put a cap on 2017, Eater surveyed a group of friends, writers, and all around experts for their take on the past year. We asked them eight questions: from top standbys to top newcomers, from best meals to restaurants they’ve broken up with. All will be answered by the time we turn off the lights at the end of the 2017. Responses are related in no particular order; all are cut, pasted, and (mostly) unedited herein. Readers, please do add your survey answers in the comments.
Amber Love Bond (Eater Miami contributor): I finally made it to Nina Compton’s Compère Lapinin New Orleans and it reminded me all over again about how incredible her food is. Everything was out of this world. She sent out a green pea gnocchi that I struggled to find on the menu until she casually said, “It’s not on the menu, I was just playing around back there and thought you’d enjoy this.” I almost cried out of enjoyment, but also sadness that she’s not in Miami.
Evan Benn (Indulge Miami): In Miami: Gregory Pugin’s tasting menu at Palme d’Or in the Biltmore keeps getting better and better. It’s a splurge worth experiencing.
Outside of Miami (tie): Restaurant Barr in Copenhagen (in the former Noma space) is elevated Nordic comfort food at its best, paired with a geeked-out beer list; the chef’s counter at Machneyuda restaurant in Jerusalem is an ideal perch from which to watch Israel’s most exciting kitchen at work.
Giovanny Gutierrez (Chat Chow TV/Eater Miami photographer): Eating at the No.1 spot of the prestigious World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Eleven Madison Park for their last dinner service where the tasting menu was a compendium of their best dishes “hits” since 2006.
Belkys Nerey (WSVN 7): Sadly, it wasn’t in Miami. It was Tickets Bar in Barcelona. I think of it as Willy Wonka eating. Not only did each dish taste exceptional everything was presented in such an out of this world way. It was a multi-sensory dining experience. Perfection.
David Rosendorf (Food For Thought): Anywhere: a very difficult toss-up between wine country kaiseki at Single Thread in Healdsburg, an Israeli feast at Zahav in Philadelphia, and a modern British tasting menu at Clove Club in London.
Locally: another difficult toss-up between a couple Cobaya events – a magical night at Rancho Patel with Chef Niven, a mezcal-fueled dinner at Olla (R.I.P.) with Chef Scott Linquist – and a quiet night at Sweet Liberty a few days after Irma – icy cocktails, Michy’s fried chicken, and strong air conditioning never felt so good.
Matthew Meltzer (Thrillist Miami): Definitely the Tower Bridge Dinner in Sacramento. Here’s a city that’s actually surrounded by farms, and every year the top local chefs put on this dinner on the city’s main bridge. Talk about acutally being farm-to-table, everything served there came from like something within 50 miles, most of the produce picked within 48 hours. Add that to a sunset over the Sacramento River in perfect fall California weather and there’s no way anything tops it. I know that has nothing to do with Miami, but, hey, I like to give props to my hometown where it’s due.
Stacy Moya (Eater Miami Contributor): Chef Adrianne’s Nashville hot chicken for National Fried Chicken Day was outstanding as well as chef Niven Patel’s tasting menu.
Virginia Gil (Time Out Miami): I was SO happy to have BLT back in Miami. I missed its service, those unbelievable popovers and the steaks, god I love those steaks. Years ago, I went vegetarian and broke my meatless streak with a fat, juicy sirloin at its former location at the Betsy.
Carla Torres (Miami New Times): We did Olee’s 30th birthday right with Single Thread and our annual trip to Sonoma. That’s top five meals of my life for sure. In Miami? Jeremy Ford has me thinking about his food and what the future of holds.
Olee Fowler (Eater Miami): It’s not in Miami, but Single Thread in Sonoma was amazing — and I was lucky enough to share the meal with 18 of my closest friends to celebrate my birthday, which made it even more special.